When coming up with an estate plan, people may give a great deal of attention to their physical property. However, there is another class of assets that it is important to not overlook on this front: digital assets. This includes things like social media accounts, email accounts, data on the cloud and personal or business websites.
Planning for what will happen with these assets after death
These assets can have a lot of value, both emotionally and economically. A recent study estimated that, on average, people here in America own over $55,000 worth of such assets.
So, what happens with such property after a person’s death could have major implications for his or her legacy and loved ones. Also, if these assets are left unattended after one’s death, there can be an increased risk of them falling into the wrong hands.
Given this, it can be important for individuals to have a firm plan in place to ensure that their wishes are in control and their goals are protected when it comes to their digital assets when they pass away. Skilled estate planning attorneys can help individuals with developing a digital asset plan and incorporating it into their overall estate plan.
Planning on how these assets will be accessed after death
Now, for a digital asset plan to work, the right people have to be able to access these assets after one’s death. So, along with planning what will happen with these assets, it can also be important to plan how to make sure the user names, passwords and other access information for these assets can readily be passed along to the correct people. Things that can help with this include:
- Having the information on an external drive
- Using a password manager
- Using a digital system to store such information
- Having a letter of instruction that includes this information
Experienced estate planning attorneys can help answer questions individuals have about the digital asset planning process.